The party quickly departs from Tor Sera. Their goal is Celes, the former capital of Falcatta. They believe that many of their questions can be answered by the imprisioned Queen.
What is the Shoui Orb? What purpose do the Obsidian Temples have? What is Demon’s Path, exactly? What’s up with Lorec?
On the road they find that Lorec has implicated the party as the culprits that caused the distruction of Tor Sera. While their descriptions have been ciruculated, thankfully they have also been reported as killed due to their ruse with Critwall. Lady Reiss is also mentioned in these reports, however her situation is a bit more grim. They report her has being the mastermind of the disaster, as well as possibly being on the run.
Arming themselves in their best disguises, they continue North, allowing citizens to slowly depart to new homes with their relatives in the small towns they pass through.
As they approached Sergwyn at dusk Erbrin Fencrasteil saw a flash of blue and heard some screaming that was quickly cut off in the distance. He notified the rest of the members, and they decided to investigate. On the way they were ambushed by a swarm of Kruthiks that nearly tore Khalid to pieces, however, the rest of the party was able to turn it into a decisive win.
Finally getting to the site that Erbrin noticed, they discovered a slowing healing planar rift. Nearby was a dying woman whom the party managed to stabilize. Though her ramblings and their observations of the rift, they came upon the realization that the rift was into a nightmare/dream plane similar (if not the same) as the one they experienced by way of Andoliath Dinn’s failed ritual. The stabilized woman made mention of a creature of shadows with red eyes that had been frequenting her nightmares stepping through the rift.
The party quickly tracked down this creature at a nearby farming village. Its two companions were making quick work of the villagers, but the party managed to get the drop on them. Even so, it was a difficult battle. The creatue had an affinity for invisiblity and a firey sword which seemed to cut through the party’s defenses. Reaching the end of their resources, they just managed to kill the nightmare creature.
Thankful for their help, the injured woman informed them of the annual footrace of Sergwyn which was happening in two days time. Their village would be happy to have their saviors represent their village in the event. The prize for winning is a set of magical boots, 400 GP, all presented to the winner by the town’s guest celebrity, High Priestess Ionne.
This piqued the interest of Solomon, and he quickly volunteered his support for this plan. As such, the party continued to Sergwyn and entered the race. Since they had a day to wait, they spent it researching and creating magic items.
Korrigan Irongate discovered that Lord Tresker would be making a visit in about a week’s time. Erbrin helped to create an item that seemed to be important for Khalid al-Nichta, as well as finding out more about some of the rumors of the obsidian temples, the pilgrims within, and a supposed treasure out in Demon’s Path. Khalid discovered that his brother might be in town and has registered for the footrace.
Afterwards everyone pitched in (except Korriganwho seemed to prefer to keep information to himself) and scouted the race paths.
The race format is simple. The person who can deliver their letter from the south gate to the judge atop the old northern High Tower wins. There are five basic routes that lead to the tower’s base, and then a hard climb up the wall to victory.
The five routes are as follows:
Rich Street Route: The magic shops have a lot of frontage and strange things going on; running through there can be a bit hazardous. The working barges tie up at the river next to the bridge. Once you’re across, you have to cut through the rich people’s gardens without getting chased by guards or dogs.
Rich Rooftop Route: You go over the magic shops and teaching buildings; sometimes their experiments go awry and that can make things more difficult. There’s no real river crossing, but the bigger boats tie up at that part of the river. Then you’re on the rich people’s roofs, and they can get nasty if you damage their expensive roof tiles.
Main Street Route: The main road is straight and wide but tends to be crowded with traffic, especially around the bridge. Once you’re past that area, you have to run through the market, which is also crowded with milling people, especially on race day.
Poor Street Route: Certain elements of this neighborhood are dangerous. Since racers are sometimes fairly well off, predatory types may be keen to trip them up and take anything of value they might be carrying or using. The river is filthy here and there are no barges or bridges, so you’re stuck swimming across. That gets you into the Stacks, where squeezing through the tight streets can be an issue.
Poor Roof Route: The roofs are a bit rickety but they haven’t fallen down yet. Birds like to roost in the brickwork and roof spaces, and running across their territory can bring them out. You can cross the river on the old city wall, though it’s crumbling in places. Then you’re onto the roofs of the Stacks and they have a lot of chimneys, which means a lot of smoke.